DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : April 17 & 18, 2020
Dear Bankersdaily Aspirants,
Daily Current Affairs (April 17 & 18, 2020) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.
World Haemophilia Day-17 April:
- World Haemophilia Day is observed on 17 April. The day aims to increase awareness of haemophilia, von Willebrand disease, and other inherited bleeding disorders. The increased awareness will increase better diagnosis and access to care for the millions who remain without treatment.
- Theme: “Get + Involved virtually and stay safe”.
World Voice Day 2020: April 16:
- World Voice Day (WVD) is a worldwide annual event that takes place on April 16 devoted to the celebration of the phenomenon of voice.
- The day is celebrated to increase the public awareness of the importance of voice and alertness to voice problems. Voice is an important aspect of healthy and effective communication.
- Theme for the year 2020: “FOCUS ON YOUR VOICE”.
Narendra Singh Tomar chairs the National Conference on Kharif crops 2020 by video conference:
- Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar chaired the National Conference on Kharif crops 2020 by video conference & stated that all states should aim to achieve the kharif target.
- And also the doubling of farmer’s income should be taken up in mission mode.DAC (The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing ) & FW (Family Welfare) secretaries and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research ) and also officers from state governments participated.
Chhattisgarh launched Cghaat website for online essential delivery:
- Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated the online delivery website ‘Cghaat’ on 16 April.
- Cghaat will facilitate doorstep delivery of fruits and vegetables during the extended lockdown phase due to contain COVID-19 spread
- Capital: Raipur
- Chief Minister: Bhupesh Baghel
- Governor: AnusuiyaUikey
Government to set up “Suraksha Stores” and “Suraksha Circle” under PPP mode amid COVID-19 lockdown:
- In order to provide daily essentials to Indian citizens during the extended lockdown, the government will set up 20 lakh retail shops through public-private partnership (PPP) namely ‘Suraksha Stores’ across India in the next 45 days.
- In this regard, the neighbourhood Kirana (general) stores will be converted into sanitized retail outlets selling daily essentials while adhering to safety norms such as social distancing to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Government of India launches “Krishi Rath” application for hassle free agri transportation:
- Government of India launched the “Krishi Rath” application to help farmers to transport their agriculture produce to the mandis.
- The farmer has to post the quantity of agricultural produce he wishes to transport. After posting, he will get the availability of truck and price quote for the load.
- The prices quoted are from the transport aggregators. Once the farmer confirms, he will get details of the transporter. He can then directly connect with him and negotiate for prices.
DRDOs PPE testing facility shifted from DRDE Gwalior to INMAS Delhi:
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) shifted its testing facility from Defence Research Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior to Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), New Delhi.
- The move is to overcome the time delays and to speed up delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and masks.
- Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
- Governor: Anil Baijal
India is the most digitally dextrous country in the world:
- The Gartner 2019 Digital Workspace Survey found that India is the most digitally dextrous country in the world followed by UK and USA due to having the largest GenZ workforce along with a desire to learn new skills.
- 27% of digital workers in India skilled for the work in tech.
Nirmala Sitharaman attended virtual 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting:
- Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman attended the virtual session of the 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG).
- The meet was conducted under the presidency of Saudi Arabia. Its objective was to discuss the global economic outlook amid COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
AIIB to finance 500 million USD projects to strengthen National Health Care Systems:
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is to finance 500 million USD projects in India to help the country improve its health care systems. AIIB is currently doubling its funds under COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility.
- India had earlier approached AIIB and the Asian Development Bank for financial assistance to combat COVID-19. The Asian Development Bank recently announced to support India with 2.2 billion USD of funds.
South Korea’s ruling party wins an absolute majority in parliamentary elections:
- In South Korea, President Moon Jae-In’s left-leaning party won an absolute majority in Parliamentary elections.
- According to the results declared by the National Election Commission, the Democratic party and its allies took 180 seats out of 300.
- Capital: Seoul.
- Currency: South Korean Won.
- Prime Minister: Chung Sye-Kyun
- President: Moon Jae-In
Banking and Economy
RBI cuts reverse repo rate from 4% to 3.75%:
- The Reserve Bank of India announced a cut in the reverse repo rate from 4 per cent to 3.75 percent in the wake of coronavirus crisis in the country.
- The central bank reduced the reverse repo rate – the rate at which banks park their fund with the central bank – by 25 basis points to 3.75 per cent. And also SLR cuts from 18.50% to 18.00%.
- RBI has eased the Liquidity Coverage Ratio from 100% to 80%. The LCR is the assets held by the banks to make sure its ongoing ability to meet short-term obligations are fulfilled.
- The RBI will also provide Rs 50,000 crore (Long Term Repo Operation) special finance assistance to institutions such as SIDBI, NABARD, NHB.
RBI released 49th round of OBICUS
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the 49th round of quarterly OBICUS (Order books, inventories, and capacity utilization survey) of the manufacturing sector. The survey includes the reference period January-March 2020.
- The survey provides an insight into the demands of the Indian manufacturing sector. The survey is conducted quarterly (4 times a year). It is being conducted since 2008.
- The data collected in the survey includes quantitative data on new orders received during the reference quarter, backlog of orders, pending orders, total inventories with a breakup between work-in-progress (WiP) and finished goods (FG) inventories and item-wise production.
IL & FS sells entire stake in IWPSL to ORIX Corp for Rs 6.05 Crore:
- Cash strapped Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) sold its 100% stake in IL&FS Wind Power Services Ltd(IWPSL) to Orix Corporation of Japan for Rs 6.05 cr. IWPSL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IL&FS Energy Development Company.
- IWPSL, classified as a ‘green company’ has no outstanding debt.
MS Sahoo panel suggests Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI)-type regulator for valuation professionals:
- Panel under IBBI chairman MS Sahoo has suggested to set up a national body for valuation professionals.
- The proposed cadre of valuers (like chartered accountants, etc) will include both the current practitioners and freshers wishing to have a career in valuation.
- Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India(IBBI),Founded in 2016.
HDFC Bank launches safety grid campaign to reiterate Social Distancing:
- HDFC Bank launched #HDFCBankSafetyGrid to reinforce #SocialDistancing. Using the outer grid, the bank has created physical markers on the ground to help maintain Social distancing while waiting in a queue at a shop.
- Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Chairman– Deepak S. Parekh
- CEO: Aditya Puri.
Kotak Mahindra Bank joins the list of banks providing ‘ATM on Wheels’ Service:
- Joining a series of other banks such as HDFC, Axis, ICICI, Kotak Mahindra Bank announced the launch of its first ‘ATM on Wheels’ service.
- This will bring cash withdrawal facility to various neighbourhoods. It is presently operational in Mumbai.
Kotak Mahindra Bank
- CEO: Uday Kotak.
- Headquarters: Mumbai.
Paytm Payments Bank ties up with Mastercard:
- Paytm Payments Bank will now issue Mastercard Debit Cards to its account holders to enable them to perform online transactions, payments in stores & to withdraw from ATMs. It is to start by issuing virtual cards for safer transactions.
Paytm Payments Bank:
- Headquarters– New Delhi, India
- MD & CEO– Satish Kumar Gupta.
SBI sees FY21 real GDP growth at 1.1%:
- SBI has estimated the real GDP growth for the current FY at 1.1% and the nominal GDP growth at 4.2%. The earlier forecast for GDP growth for FY21 was 2.6%. It has also estimated the overall loss for FY21 at about Rs 12.1L cr.
- SBI Head Office: Mumbai.
Asia expected to witness 0% growth in 2020:
- In IMF’s blog titled ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and the Asia-Pacific Region: Lowest Growth since the 1960s, it has noted that Asia is expected to witness 0% growth in 2020 and that this is the worst performance in almost 60 years.
International Monetary Fund (IMF):
- Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
- Managing Director: Kristalina Georgieva.
Science and Technology
CeNS to develop a compact solid-state sensor to detect the heavy metal ions in water:
- Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences(CeNS) developed a portable device which can help onsite detection of heavy metal ions in remote areas. It can detect lead ions down to 0.4 parts per billion (ppb) for onsite detection.
- CeNS is located in Bangalore, Karnataka.
IASST develops plasmonic semiconductor nanomaterials to remove toxic materials from water:
- Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Assam is to develop plasmonic semiconductor nanomaterials for the removal of toxic organic compounds from water by harvesting solar light.
- Plasmonic semiconductor nanomaterials are metal-like materials with free electrons on the surface that oscillate collectively when hit by light.
ICAR developed Pusa Decontamination and Sanitizing Tunnel:
- PUSA Decontamination and Sanitizing Tunnel are developed by the Division of Agricultural Engineering, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR), New Delhi.
- The tunnel was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kailash Choudhary in New Delhi.
Chitra Gene LAMP-N: Diagnostic kit developed by SCTIMST, Thiruvananthapuram:
- Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science (SCTIMST), an institute of national importance developed a diagnostic kit. The kit reduces test time by two hours.
- The cost of the kit is Rs 1000. The time taken by the kit to examine the samples is half as that of the time taken by the RT-PCR tests.
- Currently, India is using RT-PCR to examine COVID-19 samples. It takes 5 hours for the test to produce results. Also, the test costs Rs 4,500.
Appointments and Resignations
Vineet Arora appointed as MD & CEO of Paytm General Insurance:
- Paytm, a major digital payment system and financial service platform, appoints Vineet Arora as the Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Paytm General Insurance Limited (Ltd).
Paytm General Insurance Ltd:
- Headquarters: New Delhi, India.
Chess wizard Viswanathan Anand named ambassador of WWF India:
- Five times world champion Viswanathan Anand is the new Ambassador for World Wide Fund (WWF) India’s Environment Education Programme. Environment Education reaches out to children & citizens to create environmentally conscious children.
- It impacts over 5 million children across 2000 schools.
Rohit Sharma becomes Dubai-based coaching academy’s brand ambassador:
- India’s limited-overs Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma is the brand ambassador of ‘CricKingdom’, a cricket academy based in Dubai. It seeks to merge time tested theories along with modern scientific technologies.
- It has Mumbai medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni as one of its mentors.
MNRE appoints IREDA to handle its CPSU Scheme II:
- MNRE appointed the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) as the implementing agency for the ministry’s CPSU Scheme Phase II, which is aimed at setting up of 12,000MW grid-connected solar PV power projects with Viability Gap Funding support.
IWF President Ajan resigns during corruption investigation:
- Tamas Ajan has resigned as President of the International Weightlifting Federation during an ongoing corruption investigation. Ajan, from Hungary, has been serving as the President for 20 years.
- Ursula Papandrea, first woman to lead IWF, is Acting President.
International Weightlifting Federation:
- Headquarters– Budapest, Hungary.
Veteran Actor Ranjit Choudhry dies in the US:
- Veteran Actor, Ranjeet Choudhry died in the US. He was a part of Hindi Classic movies like Khubsoorat, Khatta Meetha, etc., He was also a part of popular American Drama Prison Break.
Mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games unveiled:
- The Mascot for the 4th Asian Para Games starting in October was unveiled. The design of ‘FeiFei’ is inspired by the motif of the Divine Bird in the Liangzhu culture.
- It is also viewed as a messenger of joy and cultural distinction.
- Three robots – Congcong, Lianlian and Chenchen – were unveiled as the official mascots of the 2022 Asian Games.
World Heritage Day- April 18:
- Every year April 18 is observed as the World Heritage Day. The day is also celebrated as the International Day of Monuments and sites.
- The World Heritage Day is celebrated to create awareness about diversity, heritage and vulnerability of the monuments and heritage sites.
- Theme: “Shared Culture, Shared heritage and Shared responsibility”.
World Art Day 2020- April 15:
- To celebrate the fine arts & to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide, The International Association of Art (IAA/AIAP), partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared the World Art Day on April 15.
NIRDPR and UNICEF training community leaders online to combat COVID-19:
- National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Hyderabad field office, is training over 28.33 lakh community leaders through online programs to practice social behaviours required to control the transmission of COVID-19 cases in villages in association with the governments of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Karnataka.
Delhi Government introduces “Assess Koro Na” application:
- Delhi Government launched “Assess Koro Na” application to conduct door to door survey. The application has been launched in COVID-19 containment zones.
- The data collected is uploaded to the servers in real time. The data are then analyzed immediately. The control centres will access this data and make quick decisions on fulfilling the needs such as ambulance services, medical expert, etc.
- Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
- Governor: Anil Baijal
Health Minister chairs the 12th Group of Minister meeting on COVID-19:
- Union Health Minister Shri Harsh Vardhan chaired the 12th Group of Minister meeting on COVID-19. The meeting was attended by External Affairs minister, home minister for state, shipping and chemical and fertilizer minister for state, member of NITI Aayog, etc.
CBDT refunds over five thousand 204 crore rupees to help MSME:
- CBDT informed the Income-tax refunds are obtained over eight lakh small businesses worth over five thousand 204 crore rupees issued in the last ten days.
- Income tax refunds will help MSME to carry on their business activities without pay cuts and layoffs in COVID-19 pandemic situations. Income tax department issued nearly 14 lakh refunds up to five lakh each to date to help taxpayers.
- CBDT will issue refunds worth of seven thousand 760 crore rupees.
Central Board of Direct Taxes:
- Chairman: Pramod Chandra Mody
- Headquarters: New Delhi.
Renewable Energy Parks to be set up in India:
- Ministry of Renewable Energy has initiated big action to set up Renewable Manufacturing parks in India.
- The Ministry of Renewable Energy initiated manufacturing hubs to meet domestic and global demands. In order to achieve this the central government has directed the states to identify land parcels between 50 acres and 500 acres to set up these parks.
- The State Governments such as Odisha and Madhya Pradesh have already expressed their interests.
ASEAN leaders to hold special summit on COVID-19 via video conference:
- Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held the Special ASEAN Summit via video conference which was chaired by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, in his capacity as Chair of ASEAN.
- The summit was attended by heads of state or government of the 10 ASEAN members– Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
- Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia
- Founded: 8 August 1967
- Secretary General of ASEAN: Lim Jock Hoi
IMF approves over USD 1.3 billion emergency financing to Pakistan:
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved USD 1.3 billion in emergency financing to Pakistan to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 shock.
- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a purchase of Pakistan under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) equivalent to SDR 1,015.5 million (US$ 1.386 billion, 50 percent of quota) to meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Monetary Fund (IMF):
- Headquarters: Washington, D.C. U.S.
- Managing Director : Kristalina Georgieva
- Chief Economist : Gita Gopinath
WHO launches interactive COVID-19 service on Facebook Messenger
- World Health Organisation has come up with an interactive method which uses Facebook Messenger to eradicate false information being spread about coronavirus.
- The users will also be able to ask questions and get a quick response from the WHO’s ‘Health Alert’ service on Messenger.
World Health Organisation:
- Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
- Head: Tedros Adhanom
- Founded: 7 April 1948
Banking and Economy
Tata AIA becomes the 1st Life Insurance company in India to announce additional benefits:
- Tata AIA becomes the 1st Life Insurance company in India to announce additional benefits for its policyholders & agents so as to support them during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- Recently Tata Trusts and Tata group have announced their contribution towards the management of COVID-19 in India.
Tata AIA Life Insurance:
- CEO: Rishi Srivastava
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 2000
Equitas Small Finance Bank steps up digital banking services:
- Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited largest small finance bank (“SFB”) in India in terms of number of banking outlets offers digital banking with Selfe FDs and Selfe savings accounts during the national/ regional lockdown with NO physical contact or branch visits.
- Customers can open Selfe Fixed Deposit (FD) online for value upto 90,000/- with the Bank by keeping their Aadhaar Number and PAN handy; and then booking their FD online in just three minutes; and enjoying returns upto 7.75%* p.a. for 1 year.
Equitas Small Finance Bank:
Science and Technology
Scientists at NASA discovers Earth-like planet ‘Kepler-1649c’ found to be hidden in early Kepler data:
- A team of scientists at the US (United States) space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), has discovered an Earth-size exoplanet, called Kepler–1649c, orbiting in its red dwarf star’s habitable zone (an area where water conditions on the planets may be favorable).
- It was spotted while observing old data of its Kepler space telescope, which the agency retired in 2018.
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration):
- Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
- Administrator– Jim Bridenstine.
BSNL CMD PK Purwar takes additional charge of MTNL:
- BSNL’s Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar took additional charge of MTNL.
- This isn’t Purwar’s first time heading MTNL — he was appointed thrice as the telco’s CMD in a temporary basis in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
- Purwar was appointed for a five year term in 2017, but gave up the post in 2019 after being appointed as BSNL’s CMD.
- Head Quarters- New Delhi.
Indian-American Ro Khanna appointed to White House COVID-19 advisory council:
- Indian-American Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna has been appointed to the White House coronavirus advisory council to combat the deadly disease in the US, which has seen a record number of deaths in the past two days.
- Khanna, 43, is the only Indian-American lawmaker to be named to the White House’s Opening Up America Again Congressional Group which comprises Congressmen from both the Republican and the Democratic parties.
Books and Authors
HarperCollins publishes a book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P V Sindhu” authored by Krishnaswamy V:
- A book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P V Sindhu” authored by Krishnaswamy V was published by HarperCollins in Amazon digital platform along with other two books.
- The other two books published by Harpercollins include “Shameless” by Taslima Nasreen. The book was translated from Bengali written by Arunava Sinha.
- The third book is “The Big Questions of Life” authored by Om Swami which marks the way to enlightenment through mindful thinking.
India’s No.1 player Table tennis player Sharath Kamal at 31st spot: ITTF world rankings 2020:
- India table tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal has become the top-ranked player at 31st position with 6460 points by beating Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (who slipped one place to number 32). The list has been topped by Fan Zhendong of China with 17915 points.
- In the senior women’s rankings, Manika Batra is 63rd position with 4575 points while Sutirtha Mukherjee entered the top-100 for the first time & is ranked 95. Chen Meng of China tops the women’s list with 17915 points.
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF):
- Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
- President– Thomas Weikert.
SAI, AIFF join hands to launch online coaching programme during lockdown:
- All India Football Federation (AIFF) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has arranged for an Online Coach Education Programme.
- The 13-day Refresher Course which concludes on May 2, 2020 will be open to all SAI and AIFF Licensed Coaches with around 400-500 coaches being expected to join online.
- The 13-day course will see the participants attend sessions on an array of topics, ranging from prevention of injury, to video analysis, to principles of coaching age-group teams, and much more.
All India Football Federation (AIFF):
- President: Praful Patel
- Founded: 23 June 1937
- Headquarters: Dwarka, Delhi
Sports Authority of India (SAI):
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Sports Secretary-cum-Director General: Sandip Pradhan
World Rugby announces USD 100 million relief fund amid coronavirus crisis:
- World Rugby will make almost $100 million available to help nations through the Covid-19 pandemic which it calls an unprecedented threat to the global game.
- Most major unions have already been forced to cut players’ salaries and slash administrative costs as the virus outbreak has forced professional competitions around the world to close.
- Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
- CEO: Brett Gosper
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